An education in psychology prepares one to work with the one factor that is common in all jobs: people. Whether you are working as a professional psychologist, or as an advertising copywriter, the principles of psychology will help you reach your audience. There are different types of degrees you can take in psychology. These include the bachelor’s, associate’s, master’s and graduate degrees. It must be noted that only a graduate degree will prepare you to become a clinical psychologist who can have a private practice. Only about 25% of graduates of a bachelors degree are able to work in a field related to psychology, so you have to be careful about your career path if you take such a degree.
Whether you take a bachelors or a post-graduate degree, there are a number of sub-fields that should help you decide what type of psychology education you want to take. These sub-fields include:
- Clinical Psychology If you are inclined to work with patients to help access, diagnose, and treat them with emotional and mental illnesses and maladaptive behaviors and thought-patters, this is the field for you. After doing your post-graduation in this field, you will also need to take accreditation from the professional body of psychologists in your region or country.
- Forensic Psychology If you want to work with psychology in the legal domain, this is the field for you. As a forensic psychologist you will study criminal behavior, and will work directly with the legal system.
- School Psychology As a school counselor you will help children with emotional, career and academic issues. You will have to collaborate with parents, teachers and students to further the academic and other skills of the students.
- Industrial-Organizational Psychology Psychologists in this field use their skills to help improve the workplace of the organizations they work with. This is an example of applied research, because you will directly apply research principles in real world to solve problems.
- Personality Psychology As a personality psychologist you will study the pattern of feelings, thoughts and behavior that make a person. You will more likely work in an academic setting as an instructor or researcher.
- Social Psychology If you wish to study social behavior, including about how individual behavior and self-image correlates to interaction with others, this is the field for you. You will more likely work in an academic setting; however, you can also work in domains such as advertising, where you can bring your understanding of social groups to good use.
Once you go for a post-graduation, you have the choice of pursuing either a PhD or a PsyD in psychology. The former is more academic in nature, whereas the latter is more real-world oriented. Both will allow you to become a professional clinical psychologist.